Merry Christmas everybody!
This is the first Christmas in my new apartment, which means, I made my goal!!
This was to have my own place livable and organized by Christmas, and here we are.
But we know that you aren’t here for my mundane Christmas celebrations, I have a very important Log for you guys today. But beforehand I have a brief preface.
This is a Log that I wrote exactly 366 days ago. Christmas eve night around 10 or 11 pm last year. We had been gathering everything together to head up to the hospital in the morning to spend Christmas with Mary and Mom the next day.
I was hit with this heaviness that I knew wasn’t going to leave me unless I got it out.
Having nobody to talk to at the time, I wrote.
I will say that this is very lightly edited for continuity and clarity of thought, but is about 99% word for word what I wrote that evening.
I was still living at home and was experiencing the same weight that I think lots of people feel this time of year while family and friends are away or gone.
I hope it brings some comfort or clarity to your day. Thank you.
Sammul’s Log: 12/24/17
I want you to know that the future is a looming presence.
It isn’t easy when you see your life spanning in front of you.
Whatever span of time you see your life taking, or wherever you think you will go, you innately realize that these pursuits will find their way to some destination.
Whether here, or there, or someplace you would have never thought.
Yet the whole while we realize, and try to forget, that it will come to a final destination.
Around this time of year, my imagination shows me phantoms.
False images and imagined scenarios that remind me of things I’ve forgotten.
I see phantoms of people I used to know as a child when we were carefree and the world turned the way it was supposed to.
I see people I wish I knew, friends and new acquaintances who I never have the courage to approach.
Finally, I see people I may know in the future, friends or significant others who I have a strong and healthy relationship with when I can look back and remember that I wasn’t always this lucky.
I begin to see what each year means and how they change from one to the other.
The people who influence me and how that has had an impact on who I am as a person now.
I miss desperately the great friends I know I’ll have some day who I don’t know yet, and I wonder what my old friends, who I thought would be around forever, are doing.
Life sucks, and sometimes it makes you think and do things that are unbelievably hard to think or do. And that is normal…at least I think.
People come and go, and your life keeps on going.
We have to figure out a way to keep going.
We are all trying to find the answer to the biggest question this world can offer.
We all know the question.
Even though words can’t accurately describe or create an image to comprehend the question, we all sense it and are plagued with trying to avoid it for all of our lives.
Christmas reminds me of this “question”. This “truth”, if you will, that we can’t describe, and it frustrates me. The question is reflected in the decorations and echoes behind the carols. It’s wrapped up in a bow, right there waiting for us to simply take into our possession.
Yet right when we try to find it, it wafts away. Or maybe we’ve been lucky enough to find it, but we just can’t quite comprehend it.
Like a nagging lesson or concept that we just can’t understand. It’s right there, but we can’t reach it.
Life sucks, and sometimes it makes you think and do things that are unbelievably hard to think or do.
My sister is sick. Very sick.
We went to visit her at the hospital the other day.
It was good to visit, but seeing her in the hospital, so sunken and tired, got me worried. What if this was her last Christmas?
I know I shouldn’t think like this, but like I said, the season and circumstances cause you to think about things that you really ought not to.
“Why don’t I have a friend (or more friends) to celebrate with?”
“Why don’t I have someone specifically for me to love, and really pour into during the Christmas celebrations?”
“Why do they have to be sick? What did we do? Why can’t we just live a life that is semi-uneventful like normal people?”
“Why do we have to have these problems, and nobody to share them with?”
(Why do you think I’m stuck writing this in a blog post and not talking to someone in person?)
Again, I understand that things happen to lots of people that we cannot understand or explain.
Some people are getting over terrible life changes, or don’t have a place to stay this Christmas.
I understand that there are worse things going on around me everywhere.
My sister has it far worse than I do, so what right do I have to complain? I’m not sick. I have a job and money in the bank account. I have space of my own (sort of), and by many standards, an amazing family. But I still feel like the weight of the dark-lands is crushing my soul some days. Reminding me of every insecurity and worry that could happen.
But it’s Christmas.
We celebrate joy and love and hope. But the rain comes down, and we sit in an empty living room with gifts for absent people around the tree, and we wonder where they are, and why they aren’t with us this Christmas. For whatever reason they are absent, it doesn’t take away the sting.
Working, deployed, living someplace else, ghosted, or passed away, or just plain gone.
There’s an empty place setting at the Christmas dining table.
Even though we try to remind ourselves that we are celebrating the people who are with us and the love we have been, and are surrounded by, it still makes us pause. Maybe give a respectful nod to their place, to remind yourself that they do mean something to you and you haven’t forgotten.
It’s hard, but it’s life. And living without some people is the hard truth about growing up. All is not lost, and everything is not gone. Savor those around you, and enjoy your company.
Although this is a bittersweet Christmas celebration, don’t forget that there is a sweet side to bittersweet.
Merry Christmas, folks.